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wallsofsilence.com • View topic - Elisabeth Loftus

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Childhood trauma and its consequences
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 9:38 pm 
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I will get back to this in more detail but for now I like to quote Cesar from Wikipedia on Satanic Ritual Abuse:

There is simply no thread of evidence of any 'multiple victims, multiple perps' of Satanic abuse in Western countries. It's a pity that there are only very few apostates of fringe beliefs. The article must remain skeptical of these lunatic claims.

I've been reading a bit at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Satanic_ritual_abuse
and it seems that those involved in debunking the claims are part of the problem (denying child abuse and the effects). I said it before, but the FBI under the leadership of Hoover never found a thread of evidence of organized crime a la mafia. That's how the hierarchy of power works in society. Not a conspiracy, but just one person up in the hierarchy putting a stop to it.

I'm not saying that all claims are true in detail, but there has never been done a proper investigation. If we look at the other side, Christian Ritual Abuse, then suddenly there's plenty of evidence. Children who have been systematically abused by priests, for example.

Cesar, have you read Alex Constantine's article ?

Dennis

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Last edited by Cesar Tort on Tue Dec 11, 2007 6:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 12:39 am 
You have to read these claims along with the rebuttals, Dennis. Otherwise it's like listening to the prosecutor but never to the attorney,


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 11:00 am 
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I'm listening but are you listening? Most of these 'debunkers' are directly or indirectly connected to the False Memory Movement. I'm not sure why you referred to Gary Stickel's Archaeological Investigations of the McMartin Preschool site, which proves the existence of tunnels post date 1966.

To quote Constantine again, from a more on the case (and he also mentions Stickel):

The parents wondered, like everyone else, at the
incredibility of the charges -- yet they had to question Peggy
McMartin's testimony that she only worked at the school for a
short time, when payroll records showed that she had been
employed there for years. To the families, the final verdict of
Ray Buckey meant it was now "open season on children."
And the press opened fire. The world was told redundantly
that ABC's Wayne Satz, the reporter who broke the case (killed by
a heart attack at 41), and Kee MacFarlane, a therapist testifying
for the prosecution, had an affair, as if this had any bearing on
the allegations of the children. Even Oliver Stone, perhaps in
ignorance, took to the bandwagon with a film made for HBO,
written by Abby Mann, theorizing that hysteria in Manhattan Beach
was kindled when one child returned home from school one
afternoon with "a red bottom" -- this would be the son of Judy
Johnson, and he hadn't been spanked -- he was bleeding from the
anus.
This hardly constitutes media "spin." It is a conscious
participation in a felony. The account of the case pounded into
collective memory by media repetition goes that far to distort
the facts. The widespread media coverage was, according to Los
Angeles Times editor Noel Greenwood, "a mean-spirited campaign"
organized to discredit the children and their therapists.7
But why should certain members of the corporate press,
and segments of the legal and psychiatric professions, go to such
lengths to suppress evidence of organized child abuse at
McMartin?
The traumatic crimes reported by the toddlers bear an
uncanny resemblance to mind control programming, a specialty of
certain classified federal agencies and cult cut-outs on the
black budget payroll.8
The children are often ridiculed because some of their
charges are impossible. Tunnels under the preschool? Too
ludicrous to consider. But as it happens, there were tunnels,
confirmed in 1993 by a team of five scientists from leading
universities
.
The unearthing of the tunnels, like much of the critical
evidence, never made it to the courtroom. They have been
discreetly excluded from newspaper accounts.
Filling the void, Debbie Nathan, a widely published
skeptic of ritual abuse, heaped ridicule on the tunnel
allegations in the Village Voice in June 1990. She maintained the
McMartin site had already been "painstakingly probed for tunnels.
None were found."9 Nathan's account is a fabrication. In fact,
recalls Dr. Roland Summit, who contributed to the final report on
the tunnel excavation, parents started digging and prosecutors,
reluctantly forced to a showdown, "commissioned a superficial
search of open terrain." District Attorney Ira Reiner then
declared the tunnel stories unfounded "without going under the
concrete floor of the preschool." Once the tunnels were
officially discounted, attempts to explore for an underground
reality were instant targets for ridicule."10
Archaeologist Gary Stickel was retained to lead the
excavation on the re-commendation of Dr. Rainier Berger, chairman
of UCLA's Interdisciplinary Archeology Program, by parents of
McMartin children.11 Initially Stickel sided with the Buckeys,
believing the abuse allegations to be so much moonlight for
hysterics. However, he'd heard of late homicide detective Paul
Bynum, the first to dig at the site:

Bynum apparently conducted his informal digging in
February, 1984 (Daily Breeze, 1987). It is significant to note
he did unearth some buried animal remains, "numerous pieces of
tortoise shells and bones" (Daily Breeze, 1987). "There was keen
interest at the time since it was reported that the children
testified that tortoises, rabbits, and other small animals were
mutilated to terrorize the children into keeping silent" (Daily
Breeze, 1987).12

But "experts" courted by the press snaffled at the
suggestion that animals were killed to frighten children at
McMartin and other preschools around the country. It was not
until 1993 that a study by the National Center for Child Abuse
and Neglect confirmed that children are not only threatened in
day care settings, "most threats are very specific in terms of
what the consequence of disclosure will be and how the threat
will be carried out.... The use of such severe threats is
obviously quite frightening to young children and is effective in
preventing disclosure. In fact, it appears that threats used in
day care center cases may go beyond what is usually needed to
silence victims, and may in some instances be made for purposes
of psychological terror in and of itself."13

Into the Grotto
Most reporters in Southern California pooh-poohed
evidence of coercion, but there was a great, gaping silence when
the tunnels were found.
"I asked my daughter," recalls Jackie MacGauley, a mother
of two children who attended the preschool, "'How could they have
taken you to these places without being seen?' And she answered
me as though I was silly to ask such a question. She said,
'Through the tunnels, of course.'"
The Los Angeles Times ran a spate of features poking fun
of the excavation team until actual evidence of tunnels was
discovered. Then the Times ran a brief news item, one paragraph
long, dryly noting that "evidence" of tunnels had been found, and
never mentioned the subject again. The local Beach Reporter
covered the story without a blush: "parents began to dig with
shovels, allegedly in an area pointed out by a nine-year-old
former student of the McMartin preschool, who told them to dig
behind a cement planter in the northeast corner. When parents
unearthed several broken turtle shells and a few bones, they
stopped digging and notified the district attorney's office."15
Once the entrance was exposed, Stickel used remote
sensing equipment to read the terrain conductivity of the empty
lot next to the preschool. The survey was conducted by a
respected geophysicist, Robert Beer, working with an
electromagnetic scanner. The tunnel opening was found precisely
where children said it would be. Stickel: "Some of the children
had stated there had been animal cages placed along that wall and
that they had entered a tunnel under the cages." A foreign soil
deposit was found near the foundation. Clearing the anomaly with
a backhoe, they found the roots of an avocado tree cut to clear a
path for the tunnel. The roots had been cut with a hand saw and
torn away, and shreds dangled on either wall of the tunnel.
That's the moment editors at the Times chose to pull
reporters off the story. All other news outlets rapidly followed
suit.
But the excavators cleared the foreign soil and followed
the tunnel anyway. It "meandered under Classroom No. 4 and then
most of Classroom No. 3.... There is no other scenario that fits
all of the facts except that the feature was indeed a tunnel,"
they concluded. "The date of the construction and use of the
tunnel was not absolutely established, but an assessment of seven
factors of data all indicate that it was probably constructed,
used and completely filled back in sometime after 1966 (the
construction date of the preschool)."15
Dr. E. Michael, a specialist in forensic geology in
Malibu, was called to examine a cavity in the underground
passage. Together with Dr. Herbert Adams of the geology
department at Cal State University, a ground resistivity reading
of the tunnel was followed from the preschool to a triplex next
door, a traversing section parallel to the north wall of the
school, 5 feet away, extending 20 feet eastward, 10 to 15 feet
beneath the surface.16
Gerald Hobbs, a local tree surgeon for 25 years, did much
of the actual digging. Hobbs:

The children had told two different stories about this
tunnel prior to the dig. One, that they had gone through the
tunnel and came up in the house next door, and two, they had come
up in the garage, which blocked the house from the street. At any
rate, the tunnel went in that direction.... That evening I went
to the house next door and followed the walk between the school
and the house, only about 4-1/2 feet apart. I went about 30 feet
down between the buildings and found a crawl space under the
house. I bellied my way toward the southwest corner of the house.
After going about 20 feet, I found an area inside the west wall
of the house where the floor was cut out. If I remember
correctly, the area of floor that was missing was 36" X 38" X
41".16

A total of 77 animal bones were found buried at the
McMartin site, an assortment of the osteo-remains of domestic
cattle, chickens, dogs and a single rabbit.17
However, Debbie Nathan, the hide-bound "skeptic" of
ritual abuse, a scion of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation,
told another story. The McMartin site, she insisted, had already
been "painstakingly probed for tunnels" by the D.A.'s office.
(Not so, as we've seen). "None were found. [The McMartin] parents
have invested years believing in demonic conspiracies and
underground nursery tunnels. (Until recently the parents were
still digging. They came up with Indian artifacts)." No mention
of Bynum's independent findings. No mention of the dig as it
happened in the real world. She reserves much of her scorn for
former FBI agent Ted Gunderson and Jackie MacGauley. Nathan seems
not to realize that Gunderson and MacGauley brought in Stickel
and his geological team to defuse accusations they were directly
engaged in the dig. They weren't. The search for the tunnels was
independent, and scores of volunteers pitched in.
Nathan's refrain of "no evidence" is hollow. She has
been known to contort around the facts of ritual abuse in a
grotesque parody of journalism and is frequently blind to
critical evidence. Nathan continues to find "no evidence" of
abuse at McMartin despite the nightmares, the acting-out, medical
molestation reports and sexual infections. The tunnel excavation,
she assures with psychic certainty (and a sniff of
condescension), is a "hoax."

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:10 pm 
Last week on the New York Times website (can't access the article now) was a story about a school crossing guard who is believed to have sexually abused children hundreds of times. That is the good person who is supposed to help children cross the street on their way to school.

If we stopped all sexual and other terrible forms of abuse of children, the general skill in child rearing is still low. Parenting skills are low, in my opinion. Most of us have quite a bit repressed material from childhood and a lot of it is not conventional forms of abuse.

Men who are in a lot of pain because of ANY kind of childhood traumas may become pedophiles or engage in other deviant sexual activities.
It isn't necessary to have sexual abuse in childhood to produce a pedophile, although it does often happen that way.


Just some thoughts I had concerning the last postings here.

Phil


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 8:41 pm 
[edited once to fix apostrophes]

Hi Dennis,

Claims at the McMartin trial involved "witches flying, in a hot-air balloon" and "orgies at car washes and airports, and of children being flushed down toilets to secret rooms where they would be abused, then cleaned up and presented back to their unsuspecting parents".

Precisely because of the middle 1990s SRA craze, it has been demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that if you press a child hard enough with aggressive leading questions --which is in itself a form of child abuse-- s/he will say whatever the interrogator wants to hear.

Oh yes, the tunnels! You don't need archeologists to see the obvious. Either the tunnels exists (several SRA cases besides McMartin's made this fantastic claim) and can be photographed, or they don't. Claims of the SRA tunnels remind me the UFOlogists' claims about an "Hangar 14" during the 1947 "UFO crash" in New Mexico. They don't show up any evidence at all: only claims of government cover-up.

My hypothesis about the 1990s SRA craze:

This was an unfortunate witch-hunt. It has basically disappeared by now. The self-appointed SRA "experts" were abused as children. Similarly, the case of the schizophrenic mom who started the McMartin witch-hunt is a good example of the projection phenomenon. Since society strongly rejects trauma models and this mom didn't have any enlightened witness, she acted out her own sex abuse trauma by projecting it onto his child --again, this, in itself, is a kind of abuse.

In a nutshell: Occam's razor applies to the claims of SRA and my working hypothesis is far more parsimonious than that of the SRA "experts". Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, but we don't even have ordinary evidence of witches flying and children being flushed down toilets. Those kids were abused not by Virginia McMartin and her son, but by very dissociated believers that projected their own traumas on innocent children.

We, Miller's radical sons, are doing a great disservice to our embryonic movement by believing this stuff. Unless we strongly reject the ways in which Miller and deMause went astray, we will be seen as cranks.


Last edited by Cesar Tort on Tue Dec 11, 2007 6:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 9:18 pm 
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Cesar, I'm not sure why you keep referring to articles written by members of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation. The name Institute for Psychological Therapies may sound professional, but it's nothing more than a re-wash of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation with Hollida Wakefield and Ralph Underwager as the only staff. How Underwager manages to be part of the staff is already pretty amazing since he died in 2003. That leaves just Wakefield, who's the chairman of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation.

Cesar, you've to come with stronger evidence than quoting pedophiles and child-abuse apologizers. I've presented evidence as presented by Alex Constantine, which speaks for itself. Flying witches has nothing to do with the case and no-one was trying to convince that there were flying witches. It's manufactured distraction.

Dennis

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:38 am 
[edited once to fix apostrophes]

Colin Ross is not a pedophile or a child-abuse apologizer. He hates them.

I didn't know that the Institute for Psychological Therapies, whose article I linked in my previous post, is an umbrella name of the FMSF. Is the book The Abuse of Innocence: The McMartin Preschool Trial by Paul and Shirley Eberle also written by members of the FMSF?

Anyway, I know a member of the FMSF whom I respect a lot: psychologist , one of the main critics of parapsychology. I met Hyman in Mexico City and in Seattle. Thanks to him I gradually gave up parapsychology in 1990-1995. And because of my abandonment of my belief in extra-sensory perception and psychokinesis I could investigate child abuse and trauma.

There's a lot on nonsense in psychotherapies. Loftus et al are certainly right when they say that using hypnosis in therapy may distort our memories. That's why the trajectory of Colin Ross is important. He champions the trauma model among his hostile colleagues. But in the case of SRA he leans toward Loftus to the point of publishing a book together. Ross for one doesn't swallow all FMSF claims. But in the case of UFO abductions it's crystal-clear that performing hypnosis on disturbed people can make them to dramatize their own story of abuse beyond the actual facts.

Investigators of trauma ought to be acquainted with these studies. I cannot imagine how we can make an impact on a tough audience if our journal is contaminated with a strain of pseudoscience or unsupported claims: as is deMause's journal. In other words, were it not for his bizarre theories, deMause might have been taken seriously in the academia. When he was a young man he was prevented from finishing his doctoral thesis precisely because he stick dogmatically to Freudianism. And as you or someone else said in Dan's forum, Miller lost English editorial chances with his latest books because she stopped her process of inner healing (which is reflected in her letter to the Pope and in her nonsensical remarks on Joseph and Mary).

Since there are a lot of charlatans out there that promote glib trauma models (there's a film today in Mexico's theaters about a guy who became psycho because of 9/11) we cannot afford a single ideological flaw in our worldview. The tougher the audience, the flawless our presentation should be. And this is far from what we can see in deMause's journal and books, Janov's controversial therapies, Miller's latest books and even Ross' position on ADHD.

The next generation faces the challenge to spot our mentors mistakes and expose them in our writings. I already did it in the case of deMause.


Last edited by Cesar Tort on Tue Dec 11, 2007 6:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Cesar, Dennis,

It is sometimes difficult to determine what one's agenda is (Ross Et al) nor will I venture to guess what it is not (I know very little about these sources). Sooner or later unscrupulous motives are exposed (even the unconscious ones). Its fair to speculate and raise these issues based on ones experience, knowledge and views in order to flush out relevant and significant findings but also what is important is where our own heart is (I think that Cesar, Dennis, Phil have your feelings in the right place). Furthermore, I find your positions substantial based on 'my knowledge and experience'. I am not familiar with your supporting data and I appreciate what you have shared. It has allowed me to see the subtleties concerning these issues. Thanks

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